What happens when an aircraft is captured by an opposing combatant? No surprise the best answer may be “it depends”. The vast majority of captured aircraft will be wreckage. Either brought down in combat or captured in a damaged or disabled state. So often in these cases the wreck is simply parted out and melted down.
But occasionally an aircraft in flyable, or at least repairable condition is captured. At the most obvious level such aircraft are thoroughly examined by air intelligence people. Especially if the type is new or rarely seen, a captured (mostly) intact aircraft will be treated as a major source of valuable information. Everything from how does the aircraft perform, what are its strengths and weaknesses, what does the enemy’s technological and industrial ability look like and a whole host of similar findings. Most major combatants had whole departments that specialized in gathering as much of this sort of information as they could. Smaller militaries might consider re-using the aircraft for themselves, especially if they acquire a type in enough quantity to equip a squadron (Finland comes to mind as doing a lot of this against the Soviets).
The Germans, uniquely as far as I know, captured hardware in such quantities they even reconditioned and resold much of it. They ultimately re-tasked whole captured industries.
For this theme build we’ll look at four examples of aircraft flown by “the other side”. These are all fairly simple kits and the theme could go quickly, but with the caveat I brought up a few weeks back: I am still busy with some family business and a lot of travel is involved, so some simple three week builds may get drawn out over several months. We’ll see! Our four subjects will be a Messerschmitt Bf 109, a Dewoitine D.520, a Mitsubishi A6M, and a Dornier Do 335.
Just a quick FYI for everyone, due to a family health crisis my time for modeling has been impacted. My wife and I are fine, but traveling a lot and dealing with some family business stuff (not the fun sort!). I’m not sure how long this will continue, but for the time being don’t expect the 3-4 completed models a month like I’d been doing. I will still post when I can, and seriously I look forward to moments at the model table or writing posts here. But they won’t be as frequent as they were for a while.
This heavy duty tug was designed for use at under prepared airports. With 122 hp and full tracks it could pull even heavily loaded aircraft on almost any surface. It also mounts a winch rated at 10000 lbs, a 3 kw DC generator and an air compressor. No doubt, its more versatile than oxen.
The M2 tractor was accepted for production in February 1941 and entered service a year later. It was produced by Cleveland Tractor Company, which was widely known in agriculture as “Cletrac”. The company was acquired by Oliver Farm Equipment in 1944, but their full-tracked designs continued to be better known by the Cletrac name. The company was later acquired by White Motors and from there Volvo and General Motors.
This is the Monogram kit. Which may be misleading. As far as I know it has never been available separately, but as a free add-in to Monogram’s well known B-24 Liberator. Mostly. Some early issues of the B-24D do not include it, but every boxing (as far as I know) of the B-24J and later boxings of the B-24D do. It is almost comically basic. I think ten pieces, with plenty of hollow voids. I filled what looked most visible (like behind the bench seats) but mostly just built it as is. Its getting more of a close-up here than I think the kit would ever wish for itself! This is the definition of set dressing, a background prop.